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China Complains that the U.S. has ‘Weaponized’ Chip Export Controls

China Complains that the U.S. has ‘Weaponized’ Chip Export Controls

The Dutch government recently partially revoked an export license of some lithography systems, after consultation with U.S. officials.

Last summer, my Legal Insurrection colleague Vijeta Uniyal reported that despite U.S. sanctions, China was building up its chipmaking capabilities at breakneck speed by importing manufacturing equipment at a record pace.

However, later in the year, the U.S. indicated it was planning to update new chip restrictions on exports to China related to the rapid development of artificial intelligence (AI) capabilities. This came as China implemented its own restrictions on minerals needed to produce semiconductors and other advanced technology.

Now comes news that the Netherlands has blocked the export of equipment to China, which it needs as part of its chipmaking process.

The Netherlands has blocked chip-equipment manufacturer ASML’s exports to China of some lithography systems, which are essential to making advanced microprocessors, in a partial license revocation following U.S. export restrictions.

The Netherlands-based company said Monday that the Dutch government recently partially revoked an export license for shipping the NXT:2050i and NXT:2100i lithography systems to China in 2023.

Dutch semiconductor companies have had to seek government permission since September before they can sell some advanced types of chip-making equipment abroad, the Dutch government said in June. The rule came after national-security officials from the Netherlands, Japan and the U.S. reached an agreement to start restricting such exports, aiming at limiting China’s access to advanced semiconductor technologies.

This is a non-trivial move by the Dutch company.

In recent years, China has been ASML’s third-largest market after Taiwan and South Korea, but it was the biggest in the third quarter of 2023, with 46% of the company’s sales.

In 2023, the United States announced rules giving Washington the right to restrict the export of ASML’s “Twinscan NXT1930Di” machine if it contains any U.S. parts.

Soon after, several Dutch lawmakers challenged the Netherlands’ Trade Minister over whether the United States had acted correctly in unilaterally imposing rules regulating the export to China of another ASML chipmaking machine.

“In recent discussions with the US government, ASML has obtained further clarification of the scope and impact of the US export control regulations,” the semiconductor equipment maker said in a statement.China is now complaining about the move.

China is complaining about the new restrictions, stating that exports have been weaponized.

China’s Ministry of Commerce said Thursday the U.S. is weaponizing export controls and using them as a tool.

”We are highly concerned about the United States’ direct intervention and interference in the issue of high-tech exports by Dutch companies to China,” spokesperson Shu Jueting said at the ministry’s first press conference in 2024, according to a CNBC translation of her Mandarin-language remarks.

“The United States has instrumentalized and weaponized export control issues,” she said, calling for the Dutch side to “respect the spirit of the contract and support businesses in conducting compliant trade.”

She was responding to a question about ASML, the Netherlands-based company that makes lithography machines that are key to manufacturing advanced semiconductors.

It will be interesting to see how much further “Chip Wars” escalate.


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Conservative Beaner | January 13, 2024 at 12:22 pm

Well yeah it has been weaponized. Why should we let you buy technology you will use against us.

    E Howard Hunt in reply to Conservative Beaner. | January 13, 2024 at 12:44 pm

    Duh, how can we run the military industrial complex unless we constantly sell our existing technology in order to invest in new technology to counter the threat posed by such sales? I agree there are many better uses for our capital and labor, but at least this beats educating, feeding, treating and housing the ineducable, lazy, careless and homeless.

    JohnSmith100 in reply to Conservative Beaner. | January 13, 2024 at 2:17 pm

    Apparently China does not understand that unrestricted warfare has consequences. They are following in Japan’s footsteps, picking the wrong fight.

F China

China complains?

Quick, somebody call a waaaaahmbulance!

“China is complaining about the new restrictions, stating that exports have been weaponized.”

Look who’s talking. You weaponized bats. Now live with our chip-munks.

In China, R&D means ripoff and duplicate.

Why, yes we have. Just as you have weaponized absolutely everything … including active ingredients for most pharmaceuticals.

However, Biden will manage to screw this up in a way that ultimately means they build all this themselves faster.

Whether standing by idly while they steal the necessary IP or otherwise.

There is nothing that Biden can’t screw up.

    JohnSmith100 in reply to PrincetonAl. | January 13, 2024 at 3:40 pm

    A lot of process technology is held as trade secrets. China’s semi tech is far behind state of the art, at least 4 generations. This is a very tough nut for China to crack.

    Ironclaw in reply to PrincetonAl. | January 13, 2024 at 5:36 pm

    There will be no screw up involved, he’ll do it on purpose because the Chinese own his pedophile ass

The CCP could not machine the ball bearing used in a ball point pen until 2017. They take older chips and reprint the labels as chinese made, There is a person on youtube that uses the name Surpentza he and another guy lived in china for over a decade. They have podcasts about what is going on there. Empty cities built as investments never to be used, then knocked down. Aircraft carriers that need a 24 hour notice to power up the ship to leave port. I have no doubt a person in the PLA reads this before you. Xii just purged the military. The people are not responsible but the CCP is. The CCP gets foreigners to praise everything China and they call such useful idiots “White Monkeys”.

    dannystaggers in reply to viteye. | January 13, 2024 at 7:29 pm

    Wow, so just how many weeks do you think it takes to move a US Aircraft Carrier? The ignorance is overwhelming.

dannystaggers | January 13, 2024 at 7:27 pm

So we cut them off from buying microchips fully expecting them to continue selling us the materials TO make those chips? Too many drugs in the US Government folks.

BierceAmbrose | January 13, 2024 at 8:10 pm

Well, leave it to a totalitarian state command economy like in CCP-China, to confuse themselves that the rest of the world’s economy is likewise under their command.

Authoritah isn’t claimed, it is recognized.